In the six years since the release of their demo 7″, Big Eyes has gone from being a scrappy pop-punk band to being an act whose music really reflects the Cheap Trick song from which they take their name. With the release of their third LP, Stake My Claim, the former trio — now quartet — returns to Don Giovanni Records, and owes just as much to classic rock as it does the punk scene from which the band first came. Hearing the opening dual guitars on the title track, one’s instantly hooked.
And while even the band’s first single had songs like “You Ain’t the Only One” aiming for the back of the clubs, Stake My Claim has cuts like “Cheerleader” that blast clear to the rafters of an arena. “Leave This Town” sees frontwoman Kait Eldridge’s voice the clearest and strongest it’s ever been, and if album closer “Alls I Know” doesn’t leave you wanting more, you’re probably dead inside.
We’ve been big backers of Big Eyes for a good long while, going back to their debut 7-inch on Evil Weevil. Since they first released that collection of demos, the garage-pop trio has toured the country, released a slew of amazing split releases, and are now getting ready to release their second full-length LP on Grave Mistake Records, entitled Almost Famous. Frontwoman and guitarist Kate Eldridge spoke with us via e-mail about the new LP, touring, and more. Continue reading →
Grave Mistake Records recently reissued Big Eyes‘ demo 7-inch from 2010 as part of a co-release with Evil Weevil, who originally put it out. When Alex at Grave Mistake told me that it’d been recut and repressed at a different plant, I figured this was a good time to sit down and compare the two releases.
Demo 2010 (as I suppose the record is now known) has new art, new labels, and it’s also cut at 45 versus 33. Everything’s different, at least in terms of the physical appearance, but how does it sound? I’m one of those people who’s not going to buy a record I already own just because it’s got a new cover. Continue reading →
Here’s a nice bit of irony: our favorite power-pop-garage trio, Big Eyes, has two splits coming out in the coming weeks. One’s a split with Orange County’s Audacity, on Volar Records, due out on red and gold vinyl sometime this month. You can snag test presses from both bands on their current tour together, or pre-order it direct from the Volar Records store. Listen to Audacity’s side — which is a lovely bit of power pop entitled “Bottle It Up” — below. Continue reading →
Could Big Eyes write a bad song if they tried? I doubt it. Their Hard Life LP was one of my favorite records of last year, and the two singles preceding it were equally stunning. And now, with the “Back From the Moon” b/w “I Don’t Care About Friday Night” single on Grave Mistake, they’ve tightened their garage pop even further.
While the a-side is stellar, and a punchier version of what we’ve come to expect from the now Seattle-based trio, it’s the flipside that’s the real treat. “I Don’t Care About Friday Night” is sunny, but tough. Like “Back From the Moon,” it has even more melody than what Big Eyes brought in the past, but it’s the crooned “ooh”s that grab your attention. Continue reading →
Though still several months shy of celebrating its third birthday, John Wilkes Booth Records has become a solid purveyor of pop-punk. In addition to releases from the band for which he drums (Billy Raygun), David Solender has put out recordings from Blockhead and What Happened? Solender recently put out two splits: an LP from Billy Raygun and Lipstick Homicide, as well as a live cassette from Big Eyes and Rational Anthem. We e-mailed back and forth with Solender about the new releases, as well as a little of the label’s history. Continue reading →
According to the press release that I got from their publicist, the Big EyesDemo 7-inch we reviewed the other day is now sold out. It seems that it’s still in the Evil Weevil store, but you might want to hop on that with haste, because their new single, “Why Can’t I” b/w “Your Lies,” comes out January 18 via Don Giovanni.
We already mentioned all this in the review, so you might ask as to why we’re mentioning it again this week. Two reasons: first, because the full-length has been pushed back until May, rather than February, as we previously reported. Secondly, they’ve released the a-side to the new single, and you can download it below. It’s fun – there are background “woo”s. It’s kind of punk doo-wop. Share and enjoy.
From the opening sounds of Big Eyes‘ debut 7-inch, you know they grew up on classic rock. The band’s very name hearkens back to one of Cheap Trick’s best songs, and the record has that warm, big sound associated with great ’70s rock albums. The opening track, “Prefer to Be Left Alone” does the seemingly impossible task of reconciling arena rock with classic punk. Really: the short, choppy chords meld wonderfully with epic riffs to give Big Eye an aesthetic that could easily fit in a basement show, or blasting into an arena.
The high points in these four songs are big guitars, accompanied by a crisp and clear voice from lead singer Kate Eldridge (formerly of Cheeky). The low point? I wish the drums weren’t hidden so much on this record – I get the feeling that C.J. Frederick’s work on the skins is heavy enough to reach the cheap seats, but the recording’s a little too poorly mixed to tell (granted, it does sound pretty fantastic for a demo). We’ll know soon enough, as the band has a single due out from Don Giovanni later this month, with a full-length coming in February.